As circumstances in the channel continue to evolve rapidly and opportunities for accelerated cloud success multiply, it’s important for cloud resellers and managed service providers (MSPs) to understand the biggest potential pitfalls—and the best ways to avoid them.
You can start by evaluating your current business and marketing strategies to pinpoint which of the five most commonly made mistakes might be preventing your cloud practice from achieving optimal growth. So, take a deep breath and let’s dive in.
Mistake #1: The perils of overpromising the customer
We’ve all been there. You want a customer’s business so badly, you’re willing to promise them the moon. Yet in the excitement of the moment, you may not have given enough thought as to whether or not your business can deliver on what was promised—while still making a profit. If you fail to come through, however, your credibility could take a big hit. And in a worst-case scenario, that could include a costly lawsuit.
Instead of overselling, focus on the unique strengths, capabilities and solutions your company offers—and then do everything in your power to overdeliver. By keeping your cloud customers satisfied, you’ll keep them coming back for years to come.
Mistake #2: Lack of a PSA tool reduces efficiency
Like many other channel partners, you’ve likely had to deal with the dual challenges of complex billing and slow provisioning, both of which can cost your business time and money. Manual billing often creates an avalanche of extra work that makes it difficult for your team to keep up. Additionally, delays in provisioning can negatively affect your productivity while significantly reducing customer satisfaction. And that’s the last thing you want. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix.
By streamlining these and other business processes with the right professional software automation (PSA) tool—along with the right integrations—your company can more efficiently generate quotes to provide faster provisioning for your customers and automate billing reconciliation. All to help your business save time, boost productivity and increase accuracy.
Mistake #3: Failure to leverage MDFs effectively
In cloud, market development funds (MDF) are offered by vendors to their more active channel partners. These funds are typically used to market a specific vendor’s cloud services to increase their brand awareness in the market. However, channel partners aren’t always aware of MDF, including how much funding may be available to them—or how flexibly these funds can be used in their marketing efforts.
If you’re in a position to secure this type of funding, you can maximize your MDF by presenting vendors with a marketing plan, complete with campaign details. As more vendors move to a “request funds” model, this step is becoming even more essential.
Once you secure the marketing funds, it’s important to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) to the vendor, especially if you plan to request additional funding from them in the future.
Mistake #4: Inadequate customer service and support
One of the biggest obstacles channel partners face is the disconnect between what your customers actually need and what they ask for. Not every company out there is technically savvy, and it’s up to you and your team to decipher customer requests and provide the appropriate level of service and support.
As a channel partner, you’re well-positioned to identify concerns that customers may not always acknowledge. By clearly communicating with your customers and putting any concerns in the right context, you can clarify the services and support they need while positioning your cloud business as the solution that can solve their most challenging issues.
Mistake #5: Lack of adequate distributor training
Transitioning your business model to cloud can be daunting. It’s not always easy for traditional resellers and MSPs to embrace the new reality digital transformation represents. Even so, many of these partners want to learn how they can take full advantage of the cloud opportunity. Problem is, they’re not always sure where to turn or how to find the trusted information they need.
If you’re going through a similar transition, it’s important to work with an experienced cloud distributor that provides easy-to-access resources as well as expert technical and marketing guidance. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to choose a distributor that’s unable to effectively equip you for the constant twists and turns in cloud, thereby preventing your business from successfully evolving.
Turn to Ingram Micro Cloud for more
By partnering with us, you’ll find a vast number of resources that can help your cloud business become more profitable. From customizable marketing campaign assets in our Go-to-Market Hub to a wide range of PSA tools and from API integrations to training and certification opportunities, we offer the know-how you need—when you need it. Learn more about becoming an Ingram Micro Cloud partner today.